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Pelosi: We can't hold the FBI accountable to the public because the FBI objects
She demands that Speaker Ryan remove Devin Nunes from the chairmanship of the House Intelligence Committee, because he's performing the oversight the Constitution calls on him to do.
Let's start by reviewing some constitutional roles here:
One example of separation of powers is that Congress, which answers to the people, has oversight authority over the executive branch. There are specific committees that take on this role over specific executive agencies, and one example of this is that the House Intelligence Committee exercises oversight authority over the Justice Department and the FBI, which is part of the DOJ.
The Attorney General is the direct supervisor of the FBI, and the president is his boss, but Congress has the authority to oversee and, if needed, investigate what the DOJ and the FBI do. It can issue subpoenas for information, and the executive branch receiving the subpoenas is legally obligated to comply with them. And when the Congress believes an agency of the executive branch has engaged in impropriety, it has a duty to make that information available to the American people.
Washington loves its special counsels, but the real oversight authority rests with the elected representatives of the people, who have a duty to report what they find to the people. Robert Mueller answers to virtually no one. Paul Ryan and Devin Nunes answer to you and me.
So does Nancy Pelosi, but she doesn't seem too concerned about that. Pelosi wants Nunes removed as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, and is publicly demanding that Ryan act in his authority as Speaker of the House. Now Ryan is not going to do that, but what exactly the sin so great that Pelosi thinks Nunes must not be allowed to continue as chair?
It's that he's actually exercising oversight over the FBI . . . over the objections of the FBI.
I kid you not:
.@DevinNunes is putting our national security at risk, ignoring concerns from the FBI & DOJ to advance a conspiracy theory. RT if you know Speaker Ryan must #RemoveNunes immediately! pic.twitter.com/dMBef0491t— Nancy Pelosi (@NancyPelosi) February 1, 2018
It's completely astonishing when you consider the argument Pelosi is making here. It isn't Nunes's job to cater to the DOJ and the FBI. It's his job to oversee them, and to hold them accountable for wrongdoing if he believes they've committed any. It's also his job to tell the American people if that's the case.
Of course the FBI and the DOJ don't want the memo released. It makes them look bad. It gives the public every reason to believe that they abused surveillance protocols in order to obtain a wiretap against a Trump campaign official on false pretenses - and that they did this in order to try to influence the outcome of the 2016 election, not because there was serious cause to believe a crime had been committed.
If you applied Pelosi's logic here to every instance in which Congress performs oversight over the executive branch, then what you'd have is a Congress completely emasculated by an executive branch that could veto its every public statement in reference to wrongdoing or malfeasance by the government.
If Devin Nunes can't summarize his findings from the FISA documents and share those findings with the public, because the FBI objects, then who is the FBI accountable to? Are they accountable to the president? Apparently not, because Democrats are trying to make the case that the president committed obstruction of justice by firing the FBI director last year.
So President Trump can't fire the FBI director. And Devin Nunes can't tell the public his concerns about FBI malfeasance unless the FBI says it's OK for him to do so.
Who exactly does the FBI answer to? Not Attorney General Jeff Sessions, because he's a weak, wet-noodle wimp who recused himself from the Russia thing for absolutely no reason. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein? He is trying to protect the FBI by joining in the public protests against the release of the memo.
Who is the FBI accountable to? The answer is either a) no one; b) Nancy Pelosi; c) the media; or . . . the last person they seemed willing to take orders from, and that's whoever it was that told them to spike the Hillary e-mail investigation while concocting a flimsy rationale for wiretapping Carter Page.
And do you know who that was? His initials are B.O. And this stinks.
Dan writes Christian spiritual warfare novels and does all kinds of other weird things too. Follow all his activity by liking him on Facebook!